Every place I’ve ever lived in as an adult I took to instantly. Which is not to say that I didn’t look at a dozen places before each lease. But that feeling when you walk into a room and light up? That’s home. I know what home feels like. Ironic, coming from a military latchkey kid who never had a permanent address.
I have that here on the Farmcoast. I had it in Chicago. I have it every time in Paris. Not so much in Buenos Aires. Nor Seattle, Pisa, Barcelona or San Diego. (And I was born there.) Not in any other neighborhood in metro Boston besides where I live in Brookline. Nosara, nope. New York, hell no. Anse Marcel in Saint Martin… well, it’s French and tropical, what do you think?
Is it instinct or expectation? For instance, I came here feeling a little anxiety about moving out to the middle of nowhere in the dead of winter. Low expectations yielded a pleasant surprise.
Conversely, before my five-week trip to Argentina, I was giddy with the idea of living in the “Paris of the South,” but I actually found Buenos Aires leaving much to be desired. High expectations resulted in let down. Paris, France, however, breaks the mold. I loved it in 1994. I love it in 2015. My three-month sabbatical there in 2005 began as desperately romantic and ended heartbreakingly bittersweet. But it’s Paris. She in a category of of her own. Continue reading →
I have done a lot of thinking and not a lot of doing since I’ve been here. But if you consider that most of life is made real in your mind, I guess that’s okay. So, what am I learning? What are my lessons to share? Here are a few observations, 11 to mark the day:
Running to the sound of your footsteps and your breath can be more invigorating than any song on your iTunes.
Watching the sun go down and the north start appear is a habit that’s possible to form in only 10 days.
You do not have to travel far to escape. In fact, you don’t have to leave the house.
You are who you are no matter where you are.
Don’t be afraid of mussing a blank canvas. I am guilty. ‘Cause once I start, I’m committed to a vision. I admit, this is a personal problem. (Insert emoticon of choice here.)
It is way too hard to not end the day with a nice glass of wine. Or two.
Nature is very healing. I never tire of the Farmcoast views. I can see how Monet painted Giverny on end. The light changing in an open sky is a dance that never ends.
There is never enough time. Period. I have no commute, no schedule, no social and professional commitments. I have yet to muss a canvas, get lost on a long run, read a chapter uninterrupted and write a focused blog post. (This is the 5th time I’ve restarted tonight because, yes, I’ve been thinking more than doing.)
Listen to what you need. Happiness lies there.
Notice all life’s details. Amazing things rise up when you’re paying full attention.
Embrace what’s before you. It won’t be there long.